Splendid's Scores

  • Music
For 793 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 33% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 Internal Wrangler
Lowest review score: 10 Wikked Lil' Grrrls
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 793
793 music reviews
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If you'd never heard Gotham!, you might very well find much to like about Stealing of a Nation.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Mono singlehandedly redefines the concept of dynamics. They are very quiet, and then very loud. It will hurt your head.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Less cohesively engaging than March on Electric Children, Burn, Piano Island, Burn is, by turns, spasmodically inviting and gratingly repulsive to all but the most patient of noisemongers.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Six of the seven songs are understated, melodic mid-tempo pieces.... The song that breaks the mold is also the album's best moment[:]"Astronaut."
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Wine drinkers' music, you might say -- likeable, pleasant, but lacking in consuming, driving passion.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    By the time "Our Mutual Friend"'s symphonic percussion and hammering cellos reach their crashing apex, the album begins to feel a little like the fourth consecutive hour at a well-stocked party full of musical theater majors.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The problem is, it all feels a bit contrived.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Harmless and happy, with an underbelly of serious sadness, Keep it Together dares to be average, and comes out sounding and feeling pretty decent.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The group creates an ornately atmospheric resonance throughout Ambulance Ltd., but their light-weight compositions place the album at serious risk of floating away.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Mercifully, Frusciante has toned down the screechy howl that made his earlier work almost unbearable, and while his songs aren't quite diamond-sharp, they have evolved into soft-focus pop tunes that display a keen melodic intuition and gift for beautiful torment.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's definitely nothing earth-shattering here... but there's nothing that's going to alienate the fanbase, either.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    I'm used to hearing more layers in this type of music, and the simplicity here is surprising -- not necessarily in a good way.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Like the Austin Powers films, there's a sense that authenticity has been betrayed in some vague and troubling way.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If "We Are A&C" was the album's low point, the album would be in great shape -- but there are a few half-hearted tracks that stake a more legitimate claim to that dubious honor.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The fact that it hides among its excesses a handful of truly excellent rock anthems seems almost like an afterthought, as if, when the band ran out of crazy ideas, they found that there was nothing left to do but write actual songs.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Some moments are exciting, but overall it's a bit cluttered.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Inara George's voice is so gorgeous and soothing that you'll immediately believe that you can listen to it forever. Unfortunately, by the fifth or sixth song on All Rise, you'll wonder if you have been listening to her forever.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While there are plenty of MTV2-ready tunes, the record doesn't bear much repetition.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The songs here are resolutely pop, almost bubblegum, and though they're sometimes buoyant, hyperkinetic, even fun, they have almost no depth or resonance to them.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's enough strong material on The Story of My Life to score Carter time on CMT and get her in good with the Borders crowd, cementing her cross-genre appeal.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Shrill, sharp, twitchy compositions that can be as abrasive as they are compelling.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Hal
    You'll either find it cloying and saccharine or heartfelt and precise, or maybe a little bit of both.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The Ponys have achieved a certain level of competence, and if you're willing to accept that in place of originality or innovation, Celebration Castle is worth checking out.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While Face The Truth rarely presents a side of its creator that has not already been seen, loved, and cried over, it's a passable, even better-than-average album.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Outstanding production, clever lyrics and catchy melodies should add up to the sort of record capable of making a serious splash. Unfortunately, Invisible Invasion demonstrates an unwavering adherence to established musical traditions.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Though Maximo Park has enough electricity to light Manhattan, there's a faint but inescapable whiff of calculation about them.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    An expansive album that ultimately recycles itself.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Gray is wise to continue experimenting and testing the boundaries of his art, but his changes don't need to be this bold. In this case, he comes up short: his minimalist mastery does not translate to resounding baroque success.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    By forsaking professionals for amateurs, the Plan has narrowed the scope of their artistic vision; for every stunning reworking, like Deadverse's "Automatic", there's a stinker like ASCDI's predictably bland mix of "Time Bomb" or Cynyc's blasé beat-slapping "Following Through".
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    I wouldn't go so far as to say that White People should never have happened... but Paul and Dan would do well to move on while they're still ahead.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    I can respect the need to innovate in hip-hop, but variety here comes at a cost -- there's no coherent or consistent melodic through-line.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Mid-tempo rocker follows mid-tempo rocker without any change of pace to keep things interesting.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Statistics... come off like an emo version of Coldplay.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Seal IV... finds him retreading old ground and misguidedly attempting to claim new territory.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, it seems that the only thing he really learned was how to write a Pavement tune, and he's having a little trouble trying to figure out what to do with himself now that Pavement is no more.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For a band that regularly draws comparisons to Beta Band and Pavement, Vehicles & Animals is all too pedestrian.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Their songs routinely beg for a spoken message, to the point where their originals sound like dub versions.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There's nothing wrong with her performance -- it's just undistinguished.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Plenty of albums split the difference between gems and junk, but the biggest problem with Glass House is that it lacks any discernible anima; the band seems to be phoning in their performance from a comfy armchair somewhere in Milwaukee.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    I so want to hate this album.... If only the album flat-out sucked, I'd be on much firmer ground. Too bad it doesn't.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    You say you don't give a shit about lyrics? That's good; most of Echoes' lyrics aren't worth giving a shit about.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Taken as a group, Heroes to Zeros' slower songs are the musical equivalent of a month-long sinus infection: heavy on the repetition, sleepy detachment and sensory deprivation.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Sparta seem a bit too retro-focused for their own good.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The passion that once seeped from the group now appears manufactured.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In the end, Tree City's quality makes its carbon-copy nature all the more frustrating.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There's a lot to admire on Jackinabox, although it's ultimately less than spectacular and even occasionally embarrassing.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Although the group's previous outings routinely got bogged down in forced experimentalism, Broken Ear Record at least keeps the pace sufficiently frantic, which allows us to excuse some (if not all) of its more self-indulgent moments.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    After a while, the songs begin to sound the same, and while Martey's vocals are consistently strong, the fact that she almost always sings in the same range robs them of much of their effect.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While the Big Chorus and post-hardcore theatricality are hardly disparate stylistic traits, it's odd that Rogue Wave would embrace them after establishing themselves as a nuanced pop outfit.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There wouldn't be a problem at all if Buzzkunst wasn't such a maddeningly forgettable record.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The tunes just circle like SUVs in a parking lot; there are traces of a head of steam, of a nod towards explosive tune-structures, but it seems the ball is dropped at the last minute in favour of a holding-pattern approach -- the familiar bassline and chorused keys. It's a letdown.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    A fairly average jaunt into familiar indie rock territory.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    While the album's bouts of strangulated sexuality are initially stirring, this lack of melody eventually dooms Do Rabbits Wonder? to wallow in a torpid swamp of half-formed ideas and analog squall.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Unlike Leona Naess the musician, Leona Naess the album is nearly forgettable, such is the perfection of its production and cardboard cut-out lyrical and musical themes.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Aside from being tracked incorrectly (on my copy anyway) and not always being of the choicest sound quality, Sad Sappy Sucker shows that Modest Mouse’s rise to the pinnacle of indiedom started at the bottom, just like everybody else.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    As Higden struggles to make his way to the forefront, his bandmates appear greedy, desperately reaching for moments of startling stateliness -- much to the detriment of the songs themselves, which are lost in an atmospheric morass with delusions of (Radiohead) grandeur written all over it.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There's not quite enough to justify the addition of another album to the Blondie catalogue.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    While Sha Sha is certainly ripe with hooks and strong in stylistic concept, the songs are woefully one-dimensional and marred by immaturity.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    With an approach that seems so clinical, the album sounds cold and soulless -- and, well, boring.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Yes, it has a certain something that makes you bob your head and/or shake your ass to songs that you'd probably be ticked off by if someone drove past your pad blasting them out his windows. But no, it's not the stuff that great CDs are made of.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Whereas Walking With Thee was a wonderful relief in the indie/retro-rock world, pushing the band's internal parameters and the idea of what pop music should sound like, Winchester Cathedral feels more like a roadblock, or at least a pit stop, rather than a step forward in Clinic's previously innovative evolution.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The quality is uniform, but below par.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Slick, well-constructed and mall-friendly.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It's not necessarily a welcome change, as drugged-up, dubbed-out majesty has always been Fearless's stock-in-trade, but there's something oddly captivating about these dusky grooves and forlorn moods that makes it difficult to view the project as a failure.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    With Frances the Mute, the Mars Volta have unfurled a big and bold artistic statement... Unfortunately, that bold artistic statement is rife with pomposity and glimpses of prog-rock at its most horrifically self-indulgent.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The album, while competent, is thoroughly flawed.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The Milk Of Human Kindness grabs at elements of its predecessors, but they're often the wrong ones.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The least interesting, least engaging Sleater-Kinney album ever.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Middling music that shoots for epic and edgy, but takes far too few chances and falls short of its fans' expectations.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    O'Connor's lack of subtlety eventually grows tiring.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There's nothing distinctive about it.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    They hit all the right notes and create the right hooks for success, at least in theory, but for all the passion in Jake Snider's voice, he might as well be singing about the ham sandwich he ate for lunch.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Julia and Lena's voices are nothing special, and their lyrics are still derivative -- suitable fodder for Charmed or a Rachel Leigh Cook movie, but not the sort of thing that makes a lasting impression.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    ()
    An overblown, overhyped dreamy swirl of sound that can't commit itself to being anything.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    If the whole record could be as good as the first ten seconds of "Artificial Light", it would be great. But it isn't.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    As recently as last year it looked like The Datsuns might be next in line to make arena-sized, super-popular rock the way Zeppelin, AC/DC and G'n'R did. They still might, but it's going to take better songs than these.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Songs too slow to dance to and too annoyingly repetitive for passive listening.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Dangerous Dreams' late arrival was nearly enough to doom it to obscurity, but the disc's lack of new ideas puts the final nail in the coffin.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    While a few of the songs -- like BMG's team-up with Esthero for a cover of "White Rabbit" -- may generate momentary interest, they all sound a little too much like commercial radio fodder, their quirks depressingly predictable.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The low points are easier to spot than the highs, which tend to peak at a low elevation.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    There are times on this record, though, when the quaver fades for a few notes and [Oberst's] voice drops out of hysterical high range, and it's actually pleasant to listen to -- but that never lasts, and that's a shame.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    You have to admire Hefner's artistic spirit -- but Dead Media is too flawed and derivative to earn serious praise.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Awake is a distinctly flawed album; much of what's here is precious or forced-sounding.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Your senses will be sorely disappointed.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The absence of memorable hooks and catchy choruses is obvious.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Gomez do nothing to rethink or reinvigorate their earlier recordings; in fact, when Out West's renditions are compared to the originals, the live versions sound dull and lifeless.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    This shit is boring.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Devoid of Tanaka's usual unpredictability, Beautiful is bland, linear and frequently downright dull, with entirely too many six, seven and eight-minute songs running out of ideas long before the halfway mark.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Only the dub-inflected excursion of "Pipe Bomb" and the Clash-style raver "Eyes Wide Open" manage to break from boredom and form long enough to feel somewhat genuine -- as long as you don't listen to any of the lyrics.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    One
    One offers ten tracks of zipless triple-A folktronica -- bland, edgeless songs like "A Million Ways" that wouldn't even heat up the Ballroom D dancefloor on the final night of a Midwestern Regional Sales Conference.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    A novelty act, a misfire and a waste of time.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    Take a Casio keyboard or any other early '80s dance machine, wheel it out and blow the dust off and you would most likely be able to produce an album at least as enjoyable as this one.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    A towering monument to Esthero's overpowering sense of self satisfaction, this mess overstays its welcome and abuses whatever attention you're willing to spend on it. In short, it's not a career highlight.